Partners Advancing Student Success almost doubled its total student impact last year and is celebrating a nearly 94 percent graduation rate among served students.
The local non-profit focused on student success released its end of year report for the 2022-23 school year at a celebration breakfast last week. Stakeholders including donors, board members and volunteers heard from student speakers, advocates, Executive Director Brooke Mobley and board chairman Amy Brown.
PASS aims to increase student success and high school graduation rates by providing services and support to at-risk high school students. PASS advocates in each local high school work to remove barriers, improve student performance and keep students on track for graduation.
The 2022-23 school year was a time of transition for PASS as longtime Executive Director Cynthia Langley retired and a number of other staff changes occurred, Mobley said.
“Our team remained committed to the organization’s mission and continued to deliver exceptional support and services to our students,” she said. “This year’s report remains consistent with the decade-long history of success that precedes it. I can also say the same for our schools and community partners as they have embraced me as the new ED and their unwavering and steadfast support has made this one of the most successful years in the organization's history.”
During the 2022-23 school year, PASS had a total duplicated reach of 34,691 contacts with students. That’s up from 18,469 the previous year. Total reach includes every contact PASS has with students throughout the year, Mobley said, and represents whole school services like career days, adulting days and interview days.
PASS advocates also conduct smaller group-level meetings and events which totalled 1,759 student contacts in 2022-23.
Finally, each PASS advocate has an assigned list of students who have been recommended for personal, one-on-one support. Last school year saw 308 of these case-load students served individually by PASS advocates. That number is from 283 the prior year.
Of these individual students who were high school seniors, 93.9 percent graduated, up from 93.3 percent the prior year.
One of those individual students is Nakyah Graham, an 11th grader at Bowdon High School who was only 9 years old when she lost her mom to cancer.
“As time went on, it got harder to deal with the fact that I didn’t have my Mom in my life anymore. Sadness seemed to be the biggest part of my life,” she said. “This eventually turned into depression because I didn’t know how to cope with the pain of losing my mom.”
But two years ago, after starting at Bowdon High School, she was introduced to PASS.
“This year as a junior, my grades and attendance are up. It’s still hard to not have my mom in my life but I have a better focus and coping skills in my life now,” Graham said. “I feel that I’m on a good path for success now and I know that’s what she would want for me.”
The work of PASS is made possible by grants and the support of community partners. Since 2019, PASS has hosted Ladies Night Out as its signature event to raise awareness and funds for the organization and to provide a night of fashion and fun for the west Georgia area. The event typically features a fashion show from local boutiques, auction items, shopping, red carpet photos and much more. The 2023 event was held in July and raised a record $94,000 in support of the organization’s efforts.
“One thing I want our community to understand is that PASS is doing crucial work to help struggling students succeed,” board chair Amy Brown said. “It takes the support of our community to generate the funds necessary, and we are so thankful for those partners, sponsors and donors who recognize the need and show up – some to volunteer, some with supplies, some with money. It takes us all.”
To learn more about PASS and its mission to serve local students, visit passwestga.org or follow Partners Advancing Student Success on Facebook and Instagram. For more information about how to donate and further the mission of PASS, visit passwestga.org/donate.